Public Hearings Regarding Hunting Regulations Scheduled

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The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) will hold three public hearings to receive input on proposed changes to the hunting regulations for the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 season. The purpose of the proposed regulation changes is to manage Georgia’s game birds and game animals according to sound principles of wildlife management and to meet public objectives for use of these renewable natural resources. Those interested are encouraged to bring these hearings to the attention of others that also may be interested in participating in the hearing process.

Some of the major proposed changes that WRD will address include:

· Extending the archery-only, either-sex deer hunting season from Jan. 2-31 in the following metro-area counties: Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett and Rockdale in an effort to address urban deer management issues and provide more archery hunting opportunity (as detailed in action items in the Georgia Deer Management Plan).

· Increasing the number of permits (from 300 to 500) and counties (from 40 to 75) available for the 2005 and 2006 alligator hunting season.

· Extending the firearms deer hunting season to January 15 in the Southern Deer Zone, in response to public input and action items in the Georgia Deer Management Plan.

Members of the general public will have an opportunity to provide input into the

formulation of these regulations at the following WRD sponsored public hearings:

DATE/ TIME/ LOCATION

April 26, 2005/ 7 p.m./ Georgia Mountain Center/300 Green Street/Gainesville, Georgia

April 27, 2005/ 7 p.m./ Coffee County Courthouse/Jury Room/101 South Peterson Avenue/Douglas, Georgia

April 28, 2005/ 7 p.m./ National Fairgrounds- Roquemore Center/401 Larry Walker Parkway/Perry, Georgia

Any participant at the hearing may present data, make a statement or comment, or offer a viewpoint or argument, either orally or in writing. Statements should be concise to permit everyone an opportunity to speak. Participants are required to register on arrival and to notify the registering official of their intent to give a statement. Those unable to attend the hearings may submit written statements, prior to close of business on May 13, 2005. Such statements should be mailed to:

Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Wildlife Resources Division
Game Management Section
Attn: John Bowers
2109 U.S. Highway 278, S.E.
Social Circle, Georgia 30025

These meetings are accessible to people with physical disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to John Bowers at the above address by April 20, 2005.

The Board of Natural Resources will consider the proposed rules and any comments received during the public hearing process on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 10 a.m. at the DNR Boardroom at 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE, Suite 1252, Atlanta, Georgia.

For more information on the scheduled public hearings or to view the proposed regulation changes, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com . For additional information, contact the WRD Hunter Services Office at (770) 761-3044.